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Please note: RPS House is closed for our exhibition install. We will be open again from 10am on Friday 9th August 2024.

Journal 1898
CREDIT: RPS Journal 1898

Printed photography

Stuff to study in the RPS Journals

Each month I push my copy of the RPS Journal through a friends door, often with a note about my favourite image. The June edition has just left, with a note about the Dodgson article and Alice Kenny's technician portrait. Before it left, I took one last look through the images featured this month.

It led me to consider how printing technology has enabled us to feature such images in the RPS Journal. Going back some years before digital technology image inclusion would have been done differently. Back further there would have been more black and white imagery,  before that just line drawings.

Time to take a look. I have often used the searchable archive of RPS Journals to research a topic or a concept. What was the "contemporary" of a particular year? Why did a technology or concept emerge? How did it evolve?

Here is one thought train I followed. The RPS Journal archive resource page features two front covers that are over 100 years apart. One features an image to illustrate how pictures have transformed politics, the other from 1894 is a line drawing of a big camera, and I do like big cameras.

My background is in printing and I find this aspect fascinating so I took a look in the archive at that era. Text heavy, a few line drawings and minimal use of greyscale images. More discussion than illustration but interesting non the less. It set me on a thought experiment. Take an RPS Journal article and rewrite it in that way. It would certainly look very different...